The little obscure town on Bang Saen, located just 90 minutes from Bangkok on the way to Pattaya harbors a grim little secret about the afterlife! When you visit Thailand, try looking for a tour to Bang Saen Hell Garden, it just might surprise you. Caution is advisable if you are not into the gory depictions of infernal sufferings and horror. However, horror fans and those with an insatiable appetite for the unknown, blood and gore or just plain curiosity can make your way to this place and see for yourself what a Hell on Earth means to the beliefs of the Thai people on the afterlife!
Starting out from Bangkok city, one can take a tour and sightseeing of Bangkok that includes this tour to Bang Sean. Not all tour operators offer a tour package to the place known as the Bang Saen Hell Garden but some tour operators do offer this particular package. If you cannot locate such a tour agency, you can always get the hotel to arrange a transfer service for you to the little town, it is otherwise also famous for its sticky rice with coconut milk in bamboo. A much sought after dessert and snack delicacy from the town. The Bang Saen Hell Garden is located a little way off from the town center and in the grounds of the Bang Saen Temple. The moment you get there, do not be surprised with a sign that greets you on the way into the park, which says “Welcome to Hell.” Maybe it sounds a bit cliché but trust me, what you see inside will leave you with a lasting impression on what happens in life after death or at the very least plant a seed of question about Heaven and Hell.
Horror fans would love this and those with a taste for the macabre will be well satisfied but curiosity can also kill the cat so to speak. Making your way into the park you will pass through the first junction where you will see the four Gods of the underworld who preside over the dead as they pass judgment. It is believed in Buddhism that you are judged based on your deeds in the previous life, if you have done more good than bad, you will be spared from the tortures of Hell but if your bad deeds outweigh your good deeds, then be prepared for a duration of torture in the 136 pits of Hell before your reincarnation. You will find that many Thai families actually bring their children here for a visit to educate them on the deeds of good and bad, one might think what a way to learn about what happens if you are naughty!
All the figurines in the park are life-sized and depicted in all manner of painful expressions and to make the impact even more visual, the figures are in a bright white color with a generous splash of red paint to depict the gore and suffering of pain. Each of the pits signify the various types of torture a sinner will have to undergo for the different types of sin they have committed in life, which makes you think about your own fallibilities! You will see “sinners” subject to boiling in large brass cauldrons of oil, sawn in half by the keepers of the underworld, ripped apart by the hounds of hell, hung from hooks on a pole or even made to climb a large cactus tree! It is a belief that these sufferings do not end with just one session but repeatedly for their duration of stay in the pits of Hell at least until their reincarnation. Do not worry, there is one pit for every type of sin in Hell, or so it seems. For instance if you tell a lie, then your tongue will be pulled out by the keepers of Hell with a large pair of pincers, and this is supposed to go on every time your tongue regrows! So depending on the nature of your sins and the severity will be the duration of time that you will have to undergo this torture.
The Bang Saen Hell Garden occupies a large expanse of land so much walking is required as you make your way through each section of a pit. The idea is to give you an impact of time as you walk through each depiction against the time you will have to spend there for any of those sins committed. It might make you think a little about the possibilities to such beliefs as the Thai Buddhist do about life, suffering, merit, and rebirth. The town of Bang Saen may be a sleepy hollow of a town but what you discover in this garden could possibly make you not so sleepy for several nights! You can stop by this town on your way to Pattaya, before you go for your much awaited holiday time by the beach, island and the eclectic night life that Pattaya is known for. Try searching for tours and sightseeing to Bang Saen or tours to Bang Saen Hell Garden in a tour itinerary, it is a worthwhile stop on the way to Pattaya for those who are not so faint-hearted.
Take a lesson in the Buddhist belief of doing merit, life, death, and reincarnation, which is the root of Thai culture and tradition. You just might come out with a different perception of what Hell means to the Thai people and its significance in Buddhism in Thailand. Other than that it is a place for those who would like to see something different while on a tour and sightseeing to Thailand holiday. After all, Halloween is just around the corner, and one can say that nothing beats this in terms of a year round Halloween Garden. Bang Saen Hell Garden is definitely not the place you would like to spend the night in let alone a lifetime in the real place!